My mind is filled with praise and gratitude—not just for what our great God has done, but for who He is: a mighty God, everlasting Father, a high tower; my rock, shield, source, hope, joy, unshakable fortress, and eternal life. I awaken every morning with a spirit of gratitude and a heart filled with praise. I come into His presence with praise and a deep sense of gratitude: first, for who He is and then for all He has done and will continue to do. He is worthy of our praise.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving,
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. (Ps. 95:2, NAS)
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations. (Ps. 100:4-5, NAS)
Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty expanse.
Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.
Praise Him with trumpet sound;
Praise Him with harp and lyre.
Praise Him with timbrel and dancing;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe.
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord! (Ps. 150, NAS)
This last psalm is a testimony as well as a charge. Let’s do this continually, not just on Thanksgiving or on special occasions. Every day is the “day the Lord has made,” and we can “rejoice and be glad in it.”
In prayer recently, I said to God, “You bless me,” and I thought I heard Him say, “You bless me.” I asked, “How?” He said, “You bless others by sharing my love and life.” Truly, “the joy of the Lord is our strength.”
In the spirit of praise each morning, I then find my mind and heart moved to pray—first with thanksgiving, and then in intercession for others. You see, when I express gratitude and thanksgiving, my mind and heart focus immediately on those who appear to have little reason to express thanksgiving or praise. Their hearts are broken. They hurt, are sick, are jobless, a loved one is in a battle. They are lonely, have lost something or someone dear to them. I can never mention the joy in my life—marriage, family or experiences—without thinking of those who are surely thinking and wishing they could say the same thing. This is why I seek to put feet to my prayers—by finding a way to lighten the load of others.
Betty and I always, with the supporters of LIFE Outreach, find boundless joy reaching out in love to those in need here at home and around the world. This is “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” We can all join in thanksgiving praise for the privilege of touching the suffering, needy and desperate people God has put before us.
Surely your heart leaps when you are watching news clips that show caring people, churches, communities, and businesses taking food to the less fortunate so they can have Thanksgiving dinner. Expressions of love and compassionoften put a lump in our throat and a smile on our face, along with joy in our heart.
So on this special day, as you are entering into His presence with thanksgiving, consider others who are less fortunate or broken in spirit by praying and asking God how—not just on this day, but every day—we can find ways to bless Him by blessing those in need.
It is a joy to share my heart with yours and, above all, to feel and express His heart with others. Happy Thanksgiving! Praise to God. Prayers and blessings for others.